Steps to take after being diagnosed with herpes

Receiving a herpes diagnosis can be a confusing and emotional experience. While there is no cure for herpes, you can learn how to take control of the condition so it doesn’t take control of your life. Here’s how.

Do Your Research

As upsetting as a herpes diagnosis can be, the most important step to take after receiving a diagnosis is to learn everything you can about the condition. The more knowledge you have about herpes, the more empowered you’ll be to take back your health and your life. Talk to your doctor and discuss treatment options to help you manage the infection.

Once you’re equipped with accurate information about herpes (and have dispelled any myths about the condition), you’ll be able to:

  • Take responsibility for your dating and sex life and follow the necessary precautions to prevent transmitting herpes to others
  • Get medication or explore natural remedies to help minimize outbreaks
  • Learn how to manage stress and other lifestyle factors that can trigger outbreaks
  • Educate and inform others about herpes, helping them to distinguish between myths and facts

Get Support

Although herpes is not a life-threatening diagnosis, it is a highly stigmatized disease that makes it difficult for many people to cope with. If you find that you’re having a hard time handling the diagnosis emotionally, even after doing research and obtaining a solid understanding of the condition, you’re not alone.

Treating your mental symptoms is just as important as treating your physical ones. Many people seek professional help to manage depression and/or other mental symptoms that can result after a herpes diagnosis. Through counseling or support groups, you can learn more about the disease and how others learn to cope with it.

Manage Stress

The biggest trigger for herpes outbreaks is stress. Knowing how to minimize stress in your life can enable your herpes to lay dormant for long periods of time. It will be well worth your time and effort to incorporate the following into your life:

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising regularly
  • Spending a little time each day doing something you enjoy
  • Leaning on your support system

Once you’re armed with knowledge and support, you’ll be able to effectively manage your herpes both physically and emotionally.

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